Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Theatre: The Manganiyar Classroom (★★★★)

Devised and directed by Roysten Abel
Regal Theatre
3-5 March

The boys enter like snails creeping unwillingly to school, but, an hour later, when they prance off stage to the beat of the drums, they’ve delivered an exuberant, and utterly adorable, finale to our festival season.
So ancient are their songs that they tell stories of Alexander the Great, whose army finally mutinied only a riverbank or two away, twenty-three centuries ago.
In recent years, the Manganiyar have come from their arid homes and toured the world in shows like The Manganiyar Seduction, which thrilled Perth audiences at PIAF 2011.
Its director, Roysten Abel, returns with the boys of The Manganiyar Classroom, and a message. He is distressed by the effect India’s homogenised education system is having on kids who, like these boys, are born with music in their veins. His show is a protest against that deadening of the spirit, and part of his campaign to establish an alternative education system for Manganiyar children that encourages their unique gifts and heritage.

Read the complete review in The West Australian

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